Before I go on a trip, I do a LOT of research. I want to make sure I’m going to the right places, especially if I don’t have long to explore a destination. So when I only had 2 days in Melbourne on my recent Australia trip, I really investigated the best bars and restaurants to visit.
In particular, I wanted to find some offbeat, quirky bars. Because that’s really my jam.
But the thing is, when it came round to it, I didn’t have enough time to visit all the ones I wanted to. I had old friends to meet up with, street art to discover, dumplings to eat and amazing coffee to drink. Plus on the first night we ended up getting into Melbourne late after my big Great Ocean Road adventure so it only left us with the one night for actually experiencing Melbourne nightlife.
But you see, I had FIVE amazing bars on my hitlist. And alas, I only managed to make it ONE of them.
I normally only like to tell you guys about travel experiences that I’ve actually had myself, but I couldn’t let this research go to waste. So here are the 5 quirky bars on my Melbourne hitlist. I hope you get to explore more of them than I did!
I’ll start with the one I actually managed to visit on my Melbourne trip – Bartronica. This underground bar is decked out with retro arcade games from pinball machines to racing games and there are even the old N64 and NES consoles set up with comfy chairs to play to your heart’s desire. Oh and there’s a cool area you can rent out that’s just for MarioKart!
My boyfriend is a gamer and he absolutely lost his shit in this place. But even if you’re not big on games it’s a cool place to hang out with the quirky neon signs and nice outdoor area. There was even a fashion shoot going on when we visited!
I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the area. It’s on Flinders Lane in the CBD, quite close to the Melbourne Central YHA I reviewed recently.
This is definitely a quirky bar, themed like an old school laboratory! In their Science Bar, the cocktails come with syringes in them and everything has a clinical feel to it. Plus the toilets are made to look like patient wards, so it has a bit of a mental hospital look to it! Upstairs in Croft Institute’s Gymnasium, they have a bar made of grass and host international DJs on the regs.
I liked that this bar is situated in Chinatown down one of the graffiti-covered laneways. Sounds like quite the Melbourne experience to me!
The LuWow is a tiki themed bar in Fitzroy with lots of fake jungle plants and tacky decorations, colourful cocktails, gogo girls, Hawaiian dancers, DJs and live bands. It has a reputation for a fun night out with quirky acts and a bit of burlesque.
I’m a girl that likes bars the tackier the better, so this place is definitely my cup of tea!
Madame Brussels is a former high-class brothel in Melbourne’s CBD, now operating as a rooftop cocktail bar with sophisticated garden party vibes. It looks VERY kitsch with parasols and astroturf and a cool terrace area. But also a lot of fun with nods to the bar’s provocative history with naughty names for cocktails, double entendre all over the gaff and staff in flirty tennis gear.
Tacky and fun, I think it sounds perfect for a girls night out if you ask me.
I’m really gutted I missed this one. This secret cocktail bar is hard to find down Chinatown’s laneways and up some stairs and the bartender even has to buzz you in, but I love the concept. You see the whole bar is divided in two by a wall and each side is themed like East and West Berlin.
West Berlin is decked out with opulent white sofas and chandeliers, whilst East Berlin is grungy with war relics and an industrial feel. I’ve heard the bartenders are pretty talented so would love to give the cocktails a try!
It seems there’s a lot going on in Melbourne! Definitely keen to hear about any other quirky bars you’ve visited in this city! Or have you tried any of these?
Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!